32-QUASI-WAR & TRAFALGAR

The Quasi-War was a result of the signing of Jay’s Treaty in 1793, a trade agreement that Mayer and Benjamin had deemed indispensable to the growth of the American economy. America and France had signed the Treaty of Alliance in 1778, and Jay’s Treaty was putting an end to that agreement. The French and many Americans were incensed, for it was seen as a treacherous act by both the US Congress and the Directorate in France. Naturally, the French revolutionaries retaliated by insisting on the return of the 500 tons of gold given to America in 1778.

Since Congress was in no position to do that, the French revolutionary government’s navy started sinking American merchant ships. If Mayer was to defuse the situation before it got out of hand, he needed to have a strong presence in the City, and in 1798, he sent his 21-year-old son Nathan to England. Mayer then asked Robert Morris to get the American Congress to send diplomats to France and offer to compensate France by having the USA buy the French territory west of the Mississippi. Mayer’s bank would do the financing and pay handsomely. As for Nathan, once the Louisiana was completed, he was to devise a way to get rid of the very royalist and redundant French Navy.

When Robert Morris suggested that Congress send an American delegation to Paris and offer to buy New Orleans for 15 million dollars, he was sure it would be accepted, for that was also of opening the Mississippi to Atlantic trade. As for Bonaparte, he was sure to accept, for he would have enough money to crown himself emperor. But before the sale could be completed and the Quasi-War stopped, France had to reclaim the port of New Orleans that they had ceded to the Spanish when they left America after the Treaty of Paris, in 1763. Talleyrand was to get the Spanish to sign a treaty by promising them the return of half of San Domingo, that was presently occupied by France, in exchange for New Orleans.

However, this ambitious project was to be delayed. When the American delegation, consisting of three diplomats, arrived in Paris, they were treated very poorly by the Marquis of Talleyrand who had the gall to request personal compensation in order to intervene on their behalf. The American diplomats were so shocked by this turn of events that they returned immediately to America to report to Congress. Both parties in Congress spoke with one voice in condemning the French response to their genuine peace overture. So, the Quasi-War continued, and the French Navy continued seizing and sinking American merchant ships in the Caribbean.

Mayer especially didn’t want the Quasi-War to continue. He controlled the American monetary system, that of England, and indirectly that of France, and he didn’t want the three countries who were now under his financial control to be fighting each other. France, America and England were meant to become trading partners, and one navy was all that was needed, the English Navy. For now, it was urgent to finalize the Louisiana Purchase in order to compensate France.

After the signing of the Treaty of Mortefontaine with the USA and the Treaty of San Ildefonso with Spain in 1800, the Quasi-War came to an end. The promised Louisiana Purchase that had been the bait was completed in 1803, thanks to Mayer’s bank, the 1st Bank of the USA. At the time of the Louisiana Purchase, the thirteen Colonies had around seven million dollars in revenues, a 3.2-million-dollar deficit, and didn’t yet collect taxes. Naturally, it was Mayer’s bank that provided the funds according to Mayer’s wishes. The deal not only confirmed the First Bank of the United States’ status, but the Louisiana Purchase allowed Congress to open up the west.

To everyone’s surprise, when Congress offered to pay fifteen million dollars for the port of New Orleans, Napoleon sweetened the deal by throwing in at no extra charge all of the French possessions, including Rupert’s Land, a territory that in large part is Canada today. That was, indeed, a mind-boggling offer, and though Congress couldn’t believe its luck, it didn’t bother to question this ‘divine’ intervention. Then a straight line representing the 49th parallel was drawn across the continent by the same ‘divine’ power that had devised the Manifest Destiny concept. When Rupert’s Land north of the 49th parallel was joined to Lower Canada, the territory became in fact what is today Canada. America was on its way to becoming a coast to coast nation with Canada to the north, and Mexico to the south in spite of the fact there was still a strong Mexican presence north of the Rio Grande.

In 1803, Nathan let Bonaparte have the proceeds of the Louisiana Purchase as planned, and the latter crowned himself Emperor Napoleon at Notre-Dame Cathedral, in Paris, on December 2, 1804. The megalomaniac then gladly did what was expected of him, because in restructuring France politically he was ensuring his renown. He divided the country into departments and rammed through the Civil Code on March 21, 1805. It marked the beginning of the end for the Catholic Royalists who opposed it violently because it meant they no longer had legal recourse with regards to their confiscated property. Unperturbed, backed by Fouché’s dreaded state police, the Prefects ruled in the departments, and the mayors answered directly to them. France had become the centralist state that it is today.

The Louisiana Purchase was concluded in 1803, and Bonaparte having crowned himself Emperor Napoleon in 1804, Mayer advised Nathan, who was in charge of the dynasty’s affairs in the City, that it was a good time to get rid of what was left of the French Navy. Nathan then asked Ouvrard to do what was necessary to get Talleyrand to encourage Napoleon to put his plan to invade England into action. Napoleon then proceeded to work on his own clever plan to accomplish this. However, Nathan had his own plan. Like in the Battle of Aboukir in 1799, Nathan would keep abreast of Napoleon’s naval deployments, and when the French fleet would be at its most vulnerable, Nathan would leak the information to the English Admiralty who would be only too pleased to have Admiral Nelson finish the job started at Aboukir.

Since Aboukir, the French Navy had been rehabilitated by Latouche-Tréville, but surprisingly, it was Admiral Villeneuve, the same one who had fled at Aboukir, who was given command of the fleet. Napoleon’s plan was to send Villeneuve to the Caribbean, while making the English Admiralty think it was Latouche-Tréville who was headed for Egypt. Thanks to favorable winds, Napoleon’s deception worked. Villeneuve went to the Caribbean, and Nelson was sent to Egypt. By the time Nelson realized his mistake, Villeneuve had had time to rendezvous with other French units in the Caribbean thirty-two days ahead of Nelson’s arrival. Villeneuve’s Navy was shipshape, superior in fire power, and could have easily defeated Nelson, but instead of engaging the English fleet, Villeneuve took off for Boulogne-Sur-Mer where Napoleon and his Imperial Army were waiting. All the French ships from the now liberated French ports were to rendezvous at that port. Everything was going marvelously well for Napoleon when, for some unknown reason, Villeneuve was intercepted by some strange naval unit at sea. Thereafter, the French admiral made the worst decision possible, one that was as catastrophic as the one taken by de Brueys at Aboukir. Instead of continuing on to Boulogne, he turned back and headed south for the Spanish port of Cadiz. Understandably, Napoleon was furious at Villeneuve and immediately sent orders to have him removed from command. However, before receiving those orders, Villeneuve joined up with the Spanish fleet and went to attack Nelson’s fleet that had been spotted approaching from the west. Why on October 21, 1805, off Trafalgar, Villeneuve decided to attack Nelson in the worst possible weather conditions remains a mystery.

At the head of a disorganized Franco-Spanish fleet, practically in a dead calm, Villeneuve headed north to engage Nelson. When Nelson saw that Villeneuve’s ships were scattered six miles wide, he seized the opportunity and, contrary to tradition, he divided his fleet into two columns, one of which cut the Franco-Spanish fleet in two. That column went in at right angles, firing broadsides to port and starboard while remaining totally immune to enemy fire. The other column went northward and sank any enemy ship that decided to turn about and come to the rescue of the sister ships being attacked. The whole Franco-Spanish fleet was either sunk or captured. The score at Aboukir had been 13 to 0 in favor of Nelson, and now at Trafalgar it was 33 to 0 in his favor, notwithstanding the fact that he died after being shot by a French sailor from one of the damaged ships.

Nathan had to be very happy with the results, for that meant the Atlantic was now under the control of only one navy, the English Navy. The Atlantic community could now flourish. Napoleon abandoned his plan to invade England and was encouraged instead to go seek fame and fortune by attacking the Holy Roman Empire to the east. He was to personally keep all the spoils of victory, so, he was doubly motivated to go on the warpath. He defeated the Austrians in Italy and continued right into Austria where he defeated both Tsar Alexander I and Holy Roman Emperor Francis II at Austerlitz in 1805. It marked the beginning of the end for all the Ancien Regime countries in Europe. A year later, the Holy Roman Empire east of the Rhine was abolished and replaced by the Confederation of the Rhine, with Napoleon as ‘protector’. Nonetheless, the Holy Roman Empire wasn’t completely done in, as we shall see later.

29-TERROR AND BARRAS

In the latter part of 1792, the Illuminati set up a shadow government, the Paris Commune, in Paris City Hall. Sitting as Montagnards in the Legislative Assembly, their representatives voted to abolish the Assembly, and replaced it with the Convention. The September Massacres followed. For a whole week, teams of workers went about butchering a lot of innocent people. They would leave Paris City Hall in the morning wearing leather aprons and carrying hatchets and go and butcher inmates and patients in prisons and hospitals. They would return at night with bloodied axes and sullied aprons to collect their day’s pay. It transfixed the French population and all of Europe with fear. And even worse, as the September Massacres were being carried out, the guillotine started beheading people by the thousands. The Illuminati were not only bringing down the political structures of the Ancien Regime, they were also venting their deep festering hatred for their perennial enemy.

Though the Holy Roman Empire was rather helpless during this cataclysm, when the royal family was guillotined, it put all its might behind the Federalists in order to protect the catholic populations that were resisting in the Vendean region to the west and in major French cities. In retaliation, the revolutionary government gave orders to apply scorched earth tactics to the Vendean region, and a genocide of great magnitude was carried out. And it wasn’t much better in France’s major cities.

In order to save Toulon, the Federalists had taken it with the help of the French navy whose Royalist commanders espoused their cause. However, once in command of the port, faced with a superior advancing Convention army who had just defeated their counterparts in Nimes, Avignon and Marseille to the west, the Federalists decided to surrender their city to the English whose navy had been blockading the port. It was a good tactic, for with thousands of English soldiers occupying the port, the Convention forces were kept at bay.

Mayer was appalled by the Vendean genocide where thousands of Catholic men, women and children were being exterminated, but it was only when he got word of what was happening in Toulon did he become fully aware of the magnitude of the Terror and decided to put a stop to it. Maybe someone like Barras could be useful.

The year before, Paul Barras, an aristocrat, had been elected to the Convention Assembly as a Montagnard representing the Var region. He was an unscrupulous, penniless and debauched individual from a well-to-do and respected family. He was initiated as a Freemason and joined the Jacobin Club like all Illuminati recruits of note. Since he represented the Var and had a military background, he was sent as emissary to the Italian Army Command which had been sent to liberate Toulon. When he got there, the Convention troops were in disarray, and nothing was being done. That’s when a young artillery lieutenant called Bonaparte suggested to the generals that it would be best to shell the port before any attempt to launch a frontal attack. The generals paid no attention to him, but Barras did. Since Barras had the authority, he told the generals to give the young man permission to get his canons. In quick order, Bonaparte proceeded to gather all the artillery he could from Marseille and other surrounding cities as well as the Italian Army Command to which he belonged. From the heights of Toulon, Bonaparte had a great advantage over the English forces, and after relentless shelling, the English were forced to flee taking some Federalists with them. But when told what happened to the Federalists who were left behind, Mayer was aghast. Barras and Freron ordered their troops to take the city and butcher the Federalists at will just like they had done in Marseille. Notably, a wounded Bonaparte, though not having participated in the massacre, was made General, and he owed it all to Barras.

In the meantime, Ouvrard had reported to Mayer that he had started selling off the unwanted secondary assets of the great estates he had purchased. The sale of the detached lands and buildings, as well as the furnishings and livestock, had pacified the local notables and farmers who hadn’t had enough money to bid at the auctions and had felt cheated by the revolution. By encouraging them to pool what metal money they had, Ouvrard had made it possible for them to buy a lot of good property and chattels at an affordable price. Ouvrard told Mayer that he sometimes hesitated selling off the chattels because he didn’t know what prices to set. So far, he was using the original Convention evaluations set in pounds, but he wanted Mayer to confirm what exchange rates to use. Although there was hardly any metal money in circulation, fortunes in silver and gold had been hidden away.

Mayer had obviously thought it all out. The French livre would remain fixed to the English pound. 4 livres worth 1 oz of gold or 16 ozs of silver. With regards to the property values, the Convention evaluations would do just fine. Mayer told Ouvrard the only thing that mattered was receiving gold as payment because of the sixteen to one weight advantage. He didn’t tell him the real reason.

The Huguenot agents were extremely motivated, for they were becoming rich beyond their wildest dreams, commissions on billions of pounds being paid out in silver were mindboggling. But now Mayer wanted to thank them in a special way. He told Ouvrard that when the remaining Émigré real estate was bought up, he and the agents would be free to use their commissions to bid on any property still available. And when the auctions stopped, he was to tell François to stop printing assignats. Mayer would acquaint François with his decision at his end.

With thousands of tons of gold accumulating in the Goldsmid vaults, Mayer would soon need to have one of his sons take charge of family affairs in the City. Nathan, the pugnacious one, would be sent to the City in London when he reached 21, in five years’ time.

18-INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Mayer sat down and wrote Haym that he was to go ahead with the tobacco shipment. He told him he would confirm it with David who would then get the necessary warehouses built in Rotterdam. Haym was to get the best tobacco available, for high quality products attracted higher prices and could be sold more easily.
As for the wine and denim, he told him he was acquainted with two Frenchmen in Frankfurt who were in a position to help. Jean-Baptiste Willermoz had a silk factory in Lyon, France, but spent a lot of time in Frankfurt where another Frenchman, François Johannot, operated a silk factory as well. The high-end silk business wasn’t doing so well and they would certainly welcome a chance to get involved in a more lucrative business. Mayer was certain that Jean-Baptiste, François, and their wives would welcome a chance to have a first class, fully financed voyage to the south of France while inquiring about the availability of bottled wine and denim cloth. The offer to leave winter behind them, visit family and friends in Lyon, and bask in the Mediterranean sun was a powerful enticement.
With the help of Jean-Baptiste and François he was certain he would soon be financing wine and denim shipments to Rotterdam, London and NYC. This would work out extremely well, for wine and denim shipments would go down the Rhine by barge to Rotterdam, and the same barges would come back up the Rhine with arms and military supplies for Prince William along with pre-ordered manufactured goods to cities along the way. In anticipation, he was arranging to have more of the Roman-type barges constructed in Hanau. So far, his barges on the Rhine were proving to be quite a success, and because they all flew the Prince’s colours, they hadn’t been harassed by the bandit lords and forced to pay tolls. He intended to continue the same modus operandi with the wine and denim shipments.
He finished his letter to Haym, and took it to the Thurn and Taxis office for delivery to America. He came back in time to have supper with Gutle and his precious little Yochana. He told Gutle he was planning to go to Rotterdam to acquaint David with the latest developments, and that he would be gone at most three weeks. When prompted by Gutle, he proceeded to tell her what was on his mind.
He had already told her how the Sephardi Jews had joined up with the Huguenots and created the Bank of England in 1694. He explained that he saw an opportunity to do the same in America. The Americans needed credit, and since the Bank of England bankers weren’t providing it, he would. Everybody trusted his bills of exchange, and they were already widely accepted on both sides of the Atlantic. If he helped the Americans win their independence from England, his bank would then be automatically recognized as the official bank of America when the time came.
For now, he was planning to finance shipments of high-quality products in both directions across the Atlantic. When merchants became convinced that his bills could be redeemed for specie and on demand on both sides of the Atlantic, and that his exchange rates for Thalers, the Spanish pound and the sterling pound were fixed and fair, he was sure that instead of going through the trouble and cost of redeeming them they would just sign them over to third, fourth, and fifth parties. On the other hand, David and Haym would be instructed to only accept specie regarding all sales. As more of his bills circulated, more species would accumulate and both counting houses could then issue more bills of exchange. As he waited for the sale of the first shipment of tobacco in Rotterdam, he was already making plans to send Jean-Baptiste and François to France to look into the wine and denim possibilities.
As Gutle grasped the huge sums of money that were involved, she worried about her family and told him this wasn’t what she had expected when she married him. Mayer reassured her. He had no intention of showing his wealth and letting everybody know how rich he was. He told her that his name would never be officially connected to anything he did because he didn’t want to stir up feelings of envy and hatred. He told her he was not interested in flaunting his wealth. The only things that mattered were his family and his extended family, and what he wanted above all else was for her to be proud of him.
He explained how he planned to finance the Americans in their fight for independence, and once achieved, how he would create a bank for them without their ever knowing who he was. His financial operations would be international in nature, and that would ensure his success and his anonymity. His counting houses on both sides of the Atlantic would be run by people who didn’t officially answer to him, like Haym and David. Because each counting house had to interact with the others, they would be independent and yet firmly part of the whole. Notwithstanding the fact he trusted his agents with his life, the counting houses would be accountable to each other and to Mayer without his ever having to be present.
Mayer intended to surround himself with Ashkenazim who would become an extended family network, and he would use goys only when he had to. Haym may have been a Sephardi, but he was like a brother. He respected and trusted David and Haym, and by giving them everything they could possibly want, he was sure of their respect and loyalty, and this allowed Mayer to work in anonymity. Maintaining anonymity, making astounding amounts of money and being magnanimous and honest in all transactions at all times was the key for lasting success.
Gutle loved this man, and as he picked up Yochana and started singing from the Torah, she was the happiest woman in the world. She didn’t want to lose that. But she also knew that if Mayer didn’t follow his dream, he would cease to be the man he was, and she could not bear that.
The next morning, before leaving to meet with Jean-Baptiste and François, Mayer told her how important that meeting was. French wine was the best in the world, and there was talk that the Burgundy wine could be bottled in uniform-sized bottles. The other product had to do with cloth. The Huguenots, in wanting to have a country of their own, had emigrated to the Prince-Bishopric of Basel where they were weaving cotton cloth which was in great demand, but which was forbidden in France proper. They grew cotton in the Caribbean islands and were shipping it up the Rhone-Saone-Doubs river system to Montbéliard and then by land to Mulhouse, the industrial center near Basel.
Mayer wanted Jean-Baptiste and François to look into those two products. If it turned out as he expected, he would consult with Haym, authorize the shipments, and then help the Americans gain their independence. He would start by financing a meeting of the thirteen colonies with the aim of creating some kind of government. He would find and finance leaders who were opposed to English rule, and since Virginia was the most sophisticated politically, that’s where he planned to concentrate his efforts.

10-EAST INDIA COMPANY

 

In the Netherlands, William the Silent, also known as William of Nassau and Prince of Orange, was a robust champion of Protestantism who encouraged thousands of Jews, new Christians as he called them, and Huguenots, Christian Protestants from France, to migrate to Amsterdam. Thanks to this influx, Amsterdam became the trading capital of the world and the Dutch ruled the oceans for much of the 17th century.

Sephardim were money men while Huguenots were entrepreneurs, and together, they formed a formidable team. They created the East India Company in 1600, in London. but in 1602 they decided to move their headquarters to Amsterdam. Even though Jews and Protestants had been free to enter England, a development that had started under Henry VIII, the people were still very much brainwashed by the old ideas of the Roman Church. So, because the Marranos weren’t free to practise their religion, and because Protestants were still viewed as enemies, the company shareholders decided to set up their headquarters in Amsterdam.

Once established in Amsterdam, they got right down to business. In order to protect the North American fur trade, the company shareholders built a fort at the tip of Manhattan in 1609 which would become New Amsterdam in 1624, and later, New York. In 1652, they expanded and created a colony on the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, in order to protect the spice trade with Asia. The Dutch East India Company ruled the waves, and its founders, Jews and Huguenots, became so rich and powerful, that they could start planning the demise of the Holy Roman Empire.

But they hadn’t given up on re-establishing the company’s headquarters in London, for England was across the channel from France and its economy had much more potential. However, before they could return, they would have to find a way to get rid of the papist kings and get a king that would accept parliamentary rule. As it so happened, there were strong anti-royalist feelings in the English parliament, and the word Catholic was starting to be used to distinguish the papist followers from the Anglicans. Because Charles I, a Catholic, had just been crowned after marrying the Catholic Bourbon Princess Henrietta, it wouldn’t be too difficult to finance an army that would answer to an anti-royalist parliament, defeat the catholic king, and force him to accept parliamentary rule. The country was ripe for civil war.

Oliver Cromwell came to the financiers’ attention in 1642, when he joined the roundheads, the pro-parliamentarians. At the outset of what became known as the English civil war, he distinguished himself militarily and was subsequently promoted to commander of the New Model Army. Over the next few years, the royalist forces were defeated, and when Charles 1, the divine right king, was captured following a battle in Scotland in 1645, he was handed over to the English parliament which was under the protection of Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army. However, Charles refused to accept a constitutional monarchy and escaped. In 1647, he was recaptured, and in 1648, he was tried, convicted and executed. Cromwell then dominated the Rump Parliament created in 1649.

But Oliver Cromwell was a puritan fanatic who had been extremely aggressive towards Ireland and Scotland, both catholic strongholds. Not able or not wanting to work with the Irish and Scottish parliamentarians, he simply dissolved parliament. After assuming the title of Lord Protector of England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland, he turned the powerful English navy against the very financiers that had financed it, the shareholders of the Dutch East India Company. He wanted England to take charge of the Atlantic trade. Of course, that was not to be, and Cromwell was doomed.

When Cromwell died from natural causes in 1658, his inept son couldn’t hold the Protectorate together, and the Convention Parliament decided to recall the Catholic kings. During the Restoration period (1660-1688), two kings of divine right, the two sons of Charles I, James II and Charles II, ruled in turn and fought the East India Company for trade supremacy.

The Jews and Huguenots both in Amsterdam and in London had to find a way to put a stop to the fratricidal naval wars and especially to the rule of papist kings in England. An arranged marriage between William of the House of Orange and Mary of the House of Stuart would be a very good way to do just that. In the interim, the financiers turned their attention to France.

8-MARRANOS

 

When the prelates decided to revamp the image of the revered messiah Apollonius by changing his name and turning him into the son of God, the founding fathers had a problem. The Apollonius lookalike had to be an Essene from Palestine, and that meant he had to be a Jew. How does one build a Roman religion based on the teachings of a Jew? Well, they did it by likening the money-lending Jews of the Temple of Jerusalem to Jews in general. By conjuring up a story where the invented messiah was violently opposed to the Jewish usurers, and where these same usurers were responsible for his horrible death on the cross, it would be one way to turn him into a very acceptable Jew. Furthermore, the faithful would readily accept the idea that Apollonius, their long-departed Greek messiah, had, some 300 years prior, accomplished miracles and was indeed the Son of God as touted by the prelates of the Church of Rome. Whether the results were desired or not, Jews would henceforth bear the Christ-killer stigma. Christians, believing that Jews were responsible for the death of their Christ, wouldn’t be unduly upset to see them tortured, burned at the stake, or despoiled and banned from their homes.

Geographically, France is the hub of Europe, and it naturally became the cornerstone of Christianity when the Church of Rome took over the administration of Gaul and the Western Roman Empire after Constantin’s departure for Byzantium. Clovis, a Frank, was the Church’s first anointed king of divine right, and during his reign, he did his best to persecute and convert the ‘barbarians’ who were by then called Arians.

Once the converting tactics were well under way, the Church of Rome turned its attention to the Jews. In 629 CE, the Pope directed King Dagobert to expulse the Jews from Christian Gaul. Later, in 996 CE, when King Robert the Pious came to power in France, he burned a great number of Jews at the stake. When in 1009 the Muslims burned the alleged Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the Christians blamed the Jews, and consequently, many French Jews were again tortured and massacred. Later, in 1096, Jews started being systematically despoiled, and burned at the stake or expulsed from the realm. It was the start of the first crusade, and Philip 1st and his noblemen had taken advantage of the situation in order to replenish their coffers. By despoiling the Jews and expulsing them, they were killing two birds with one stone. Philip was not only doing his Christian duty but he had found a way to finance the crusade ordered by Pope Urban II. Over the next centuries, when King Philippe Augustus and others needed money they would let the Jews back in for a fee, and the whole process would start over again. However, in 1394, Charles VI officially declared the definite expulsion of Jews from France, and as many as 100 000 French Jews made their way to Spain.

They chose Spain not only because it was close to France, but it was also because the Muslims were by then in full control of Spain and were more tolerant towards other religious groups. But when the Christians reconquered the Iberian Peninsula in 1478, the Pope ordered an Inquisition as soon as it became feasible. The Jews were again forced to convert to Christianity, and if they refused, they were burned at the stake. Understandably, many Sephardim chose to convert while continuing to practise their religion in secret, and they became known as Marranos. In 1492, they were expelled from Spain and many of them fled to Portugal and Morocco.

In 1536, there was another Inquisition directed at Jews in Portugal. Once more, facing torture and death, many Jews fled. This time, because a world shattering event had just taken place in England, many of the great banking and shipbuilding Jewish families chose to go there. It had to do with Henry VIII after the Pope had refused to annul his marriage. The Pope, who was in the habit of arranging and annulling royal marriages for political and religious reasons, had refused to grant Henry VIII his divorce, and here’s why. King Henry had married a Spaniard, Catherine of Aragon, and since the Church of Rome considered the Kingdom of Spain much more important than the Kingdom of England, it was therefore unwilling to displease the King of Spain. When the Pope refused to grant Henry VIII his request, the latter was so determined to have a son that his present wife could not give him that he declared himself head of the Church in England, separated from Rome, and divorced Catherine.

In the process, England was deprived of the financial services of Rome. At first, Henry sold off all the unprofitable Church property and even had his friends rummage through the unsold properties for possible treasures and valuable materials, but it was a futile move. Most of the revenue derived from these operations ended up in the hands of those doing the demolishing and the selling, and very little revenue reached the state coffers. Not surprisingly, many old aristocratic families are to this day indebted and loyal to the King of England.

With no other option, Henry decided to admit the Jews back into England. The Jews had been expelled from England since 1290, but these were special Jews. The Marranos or Conversos, as they were called, professed to be Christians when in fact they still practised their religion in secret. But Henry overlooked their deceitfulness, for he was in dire financial straits and needed their financial skills. In accepting Jews for their financial skills and Huguenots for their great entrepreneurship, Henry caused a breach in the foundation of the Holy Roman Empire as a financial and political power.

6-THE RISE OF FRANCE

Shortly before the convening of the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE, Emperor Constantine gave the Lateran Palace estate, the land where the Vatican stands today, to the bishop of Rome. For the western world, this was to be the center of power, religious, political and financial, right up to the City bankers’ takeover in 1688.

Shortly after the Council of Nicaea, the Christian bishops, supported by the Roman emperor, started Christianising the Arian ‘barbarians’ who occupied most of the empire. But the new Trinitarian religion that stated that the bishop of Rome was the representative of God on earth and that his authority had precedence over that of the ‘barbarian’ kings, was vigorously opposed by the latter. The Arian barbarians were followers of Apollonius, a holy man and prophet, and they found the concept of the Holy Trinity, where the son of God had come down on earth in person, totally absurd. They were more in tune with the doctrine that stated that Mother Earth was the ultimate source of power. They were prepared to accept the Roman administration, and even to live in harmony with the Roman civil servants, but they could not accept the archaic Roman religion nor the new Trinitarian religion.

That is why the bishop of Rome and the emperor had to resort to force. When, in 486, at the age of twenty, a certain Clovis, king of the Salian Franks, won the battle of Soissons against Syagrius, the bishops realized that they had found their strong man. In order to convert Clovis to Christianity, they arranged to have him meet Clotilde, a Christian Burgundian. He married her in 493, and once the kingdom of the Salian Franks was allied to the kingdom of the Burgundians and to that of Soissons, Clovis was able to go after the Alamans to the east and the Visigoths to the south.

During the Battle of Tolbiac against the Alamans in 496, the Frankish warriors, Salians and Ripuarians, were far outnumbered by their opponent. Clovis, seeing victory escape him, decided to invoke the God of his wife Clotilde, asking him to intervene. When the Alamans fled, their chief having been killed by a flying ax, the Franks claimed victory, and Clovis converted to Christianity.

On December 25, 498, Clovis was baptized and anointed king by Saint Rémi in Reims. From that moment onwards, the conquered Arians were not unhappy to have Christian Franks as masters, and Clovis adroitly exploited his status as the first king of divine right.

Later in 507, Clovis’ campaign against the Visigoths took on the appearance of a crusade, and the decisive battle took place in the plain of Vouillé, near Poitiers, a battle from which Clovis emerged victorious. Alaric II, king of the Visigoths, perished in the fray, and Clovis not only seized a big slice of the Visigoth kingdom but also managed to get his hands on Alaric’s treasure which was in Toulouse.

When Clovis died in 511, the vanquished Arians had by then accepted the Trinitarian religion, and the Frankish kingdom had become a Christian kingdom. France was an important part of the Holy Roman Empire, for it was not only its geographical centerpiece but it played a major role politically and militarily.

Clovis’ military successes against the Alamans and Visigoths, as well as those of his sons against the Burgundians, were such that Arianism disappeared almost completely from what is today Europe, the only exception being the Lombards in Italy. After Charlemagne defeated the Lombards in 770, Arianism was totally eradicated from the empire. When Charlemagne was crowned King of the Franks in 768, and especially when he was anointed Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in Rome, in 800, it meant the rule by kings of divine right was entrenched with France leading the way. It remained so for the next thousand years.

5-COUNCIL OF NICAEA

Around 20 thousand years ago, hominids learned to grow things and became sedentary. 5 thousand years ago, writing started, and those who mastered the art were considered superior beings, and wanting to improve the human condition, they started putting religion to paper. Some 1700 years ago, as the Roman Empire was on the verge of collapsing, a few wise men decided to invent and create the most successful religion the world has ever seen. The New Testament, the document that served as a basis for this religion, created a ‘God made Man’ figure that was based on the life of Apollonius of Tyana.

Apollonius was born at the start of the Common Era (CE) and lived to be around 100. Very early on in life he opted for continence and abstinence, as opposed to pleasure and gratification, as a way of achieving enlightenment and freeing his spirit. He followed the teachings of Pythagoras, great philosopher, mathematician, ascetic and vegetarian, born in 569 BCE. Later Apollonius travelled and studied far and wide, including India, in order to further his knowledge. He was an avowed philosopher, social leader, moral teacher, religious reformer and healer, and from one end of the Roman empire to the other, he was honored by all, from slave to emperor. Many referred to him as ‘the master’ or the ‘savior’, for he healed the body as well as the soul.

After travelling to India where he was greatly influenced by Krishna, he became a naturopathic healer. He healed by ‘the laying of hands’, and by the use of hydrotherapy. The idea of baptism likely originated when he decided to clean the bodies of the poor wretches who came to consult him. He would rinse out their colon in order to rid them of worms, clean their whole bodies, insist on their getting a lot of clean air and sunlight, and above all, strongly urge them not to consume anything that Mother Earth did not directly produce. He was a strict vegetarian who did not drink wine and respected the life of animals as much as that of humans.

In India he was introduced to the doctrines of Krishna, and the doctrines of Pythagoras and Krishna became one in his mind. In Judea and Egypt, he preached to the Nazarenes and the Therapeuts, and converted many. The Nazarenes and Therapeuts were also known as Essenes, individuals who belonged to a Jewish sect that had split off from the main body of Judaism. The Nazarenes lived near the Dead Sea and are the presumed authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls, while the Therapeuts lived near Alexandria where they were known as healers. Upon his return from India, Apollonius, already a famous teacher of moral, became known as a great healer, and he was no doubt the one responsible for spreading the Essene doctrine throughout the Roman Empire. Though not Jewish, he became known as an Essene, and converted many ‘new’ Jews, Romans and others, to his way of thinking. The Essenes were soon seen as a threat to the foundering Roman religion.

In 325CE, faced with an Empire on life support, Emperor Constantine had an idea. Constantine had been made Augustus of the Western Roman Empire in 313 CE. A previous Emperor, Diocletian, had split the Empire into three parts in order to better rule, but it hadn’t helped, for thereafter the Empire had been torn apart by civil war more than ever. Constantine lost no time in defeating and killing Emperors Maxentius and Licinius, in order to become sole ruler. Wanting to establish peace within the Empire before leaving for Byzantium to the east, Constantine proceeded to replace an ineffective impersonal Roman religion with the very popular and widespread Essene religion based on the teachings of Apollonius. Instead of massacring the Essenes like Diocletian had done, he decided to use them. He would rule through a religious network instead of a military one. He would make the Essene religion the official state religion, and have bishops infiltrate the existing Roman Empire infrastructure. In 325 CE, he convened the Council of Nicaea.

Constantine may be revered as a saint by the Greek Christian Church, and somewhat so by the Latin Christian Church which doesn’t quite know what to think of him, but regardless, he was a sanguinary. The Roman Church claims he was baptized on his deathbed, but that is questionable and irrelevant. Constantine was a brutal man who butchered his enemies and executed his own wife and son. It’s clear that whatever this cruel man did was seeped in raw ambition.

As he convened the Council of Nicaea, Constantine must have insisted on having a few changes made to the about-to-be-created state religion. Apollonius, an Essene who had existed more than three hundred years before, was the acknowledged messiah, a holy man who had not only preached peace and goodwill among men, but also abstinence and respect for all living things. Understandably, a religion that condemned meat eating, wine drinking, lasciviousness and profit making, was out of the question. If it was to be declared the official state religion, it needed a few nips and tucks; it needed to be more in tune with Roman reality.

As it turned out, the revamped messiah not only drank wine and ate fish but was declared Son of God. The prelates kept inventing Christ by saying that he had been conceived by a virgin who had been visited by a holy spirit. All the scriptures that have come down to us were either created or adjusted at that time in order to give credence to the God-made-man concept. Contrary to Apollonius, the real messiah figure, the alleged messiah accomplished a lot of miracles, miracles that were never corroborated by any historian. No matter, presenting the new Christ as the Son of God was something the superstitious hominids would readily believe. It wasn’t much of a stretch for them to believe their Messiah was actually the Son of God who had been sent down on earth and made man in order to save them.

In pursuing their goal, the Church fathers were quite wise in keeping some existing myths. One such myth was a convoluted story where Adam and Eve, the first human couple, had been caught playing house in the Garden of Eden. The deed was so horrendous that God reacted violently and banned the couple and their descendants from the Garden of Eden for all time. Very odd behavior for a master creator who wanted to create a human race! Nonetheless, the Christian gurus’ stroke of genius was to have everybody believe that God changed his mind and sent his son down on earth to die on the cross in order to redeem humans from their ‘original sin’, a curse that was sending hominids straight to hell. From then on, if one wanted God to accept him into the Garden of Eden after death, all he had to do was to have that dreadful first sin washed away from his soul through baptism and to live according to the teachings of the revamped Christ. This transformed the lowly hominids into godlike creatures, and more importantly, they now knew where they came from, why they were here, and where they were going after death. They were relieved from the ‘original sin’, ‘existential sin’, or ‘sin of the flesh’, depending on one’s interpretation.

As for setting Christ’s birthday, it was rather easy. Because he was now considered the giver of eternal life, it was quite logical to have his birth coincide with the greatest event in the sun’s cycle. What happens on the 25th of December is a phenomenon that’s unique and unchanging in the northern hemisphere; the sun stops dropping off the horizon and can be observed reversing itself. Since the increased amount of sunlight is tantamount to a promise of new life, many ancient gods are said to have been born on this day. And since the Romans were used to celebrating Sol Invictus, why not continue the tradition and celebrate Christ’s birth instead?

Christ’s birth year was another matter. The prelates wanted to make it coincide as much as possible with the birth of Apollonius in order to make the imposture credible. So, in Roman Era 1279 (525 CE), a monk called Dionysius Exiguus introduced the Anno Domini calendar. Since the Easter calendar used during the Roman Era was a calendar referring to emperor years, Dionysius said it was intolerable to continually refer to Diocletian, the Emperor who had persecuted and massacred the Essenes, and he set about creating the Gregorian calendar. So, with imaginative arithmetic, he arrived at the conclusion that the Messiah was born in 753 of the Roman Era, and decided that January 1st of year 754 of the Roman Era would be known as January 1st of Year One of the Anno Domini Era (AD). It was much later, in 1582 CE that Pope Gregory, in spite of the dubious arithmetic used by Dionysius, made it official. Ever since, when dating historical events, the whole world uses BC or AD, acronyms that are tied to the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a fabricated messiah. That’s why some people today prefer to use the acronym CE (Common Era).

As for Christ’s birth place, it was established when Emperor Constantine made a stop in Palestine with his mother Helena on his way to Byzantine. The idea was to break all possible ties between the new Christ and Apollonius, the Essenes and the Jewish religion. Helena determined that Christ had been born in Bethlehem, a harmless out of the way place, and that’s where she had a church built. In the meantime, Constantine had workers excavate the area where the demolished temple of Jupiter Capitolinus had been in Jerusalem. When the workers allegedly discovered the remains of the tomb that was reported to be that of Christ, Constantine had a new shrine built on the spot, and it still stands today as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The temple of Venus had also been demolished, thereby exposing the site where Christ was allegedly crucified. Emperor Constantine had arrived at this conclusion after ordering the Bishop of Jerusalem to make a search for the cross which produced a few pieces of wood found in a cistern. Constantine and his mother may have had the holy places built for their own reasons, but Jews and Muslims have never quite agreed with the accuracy of their geographical positioning.

The Council of Nicaea was indeed a momentous event in our history. Because the Christian Church was now the official Roman religion, it grew exponentially, and went about converting the Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Burgundians, and Vandals, the Arian ‘barbarians’, with the help of Clovis, the Frankish warlord. After being baptized in Reims in 496 CE, Clovis had become the first of many absolute kings of divine right, and he had started doing his godly chores by changing the minds of those who believed Christ was a prophet and not the Son of God. In enforcing the Nicene Creed untold numbers of Essenes, or barbarians as we are taught, were accordingly slaughtered.

Having gotten rid of all opposition, the growth of the new religion knew no bounds, and the church made good use of the Roman Empire infrastructure, especially in the Latin half. Having a church and a holy man in every small town fostered a feeling of solidarity and the poor hominids felt secure for the first time in all of their existence. To the east, in the Greek half, it was another matter. The Greek Church refused the authority of the Latin Pope and divided up in parts controlled by separate Patriarchs. And because it also had to face the pressures of the Muslim world, the Greek Church never attained the power and influence of the Latin Church.

The Christian Church very quickly became a considerable financial power. After Charlemagne was crowned Emperor by Pope Theo III in Reims, France, in 800 CE, tithing throughout Europe took on a new dimension. Because 10% of everybody’s revenue represented mindboggling amounts, and because many Christians bequeathed their estates to the Church in order to ensure their passage to heaven after their demise, the Church owned as much as one third of all the wealth and property in Europe.

But, no matter how we view it, the tremendous success of the Christian Church was due primarily to human psychology. When humans broke the time barrier, they were not only traumatized by the awareness of their mortality, but they were also ashamed of their bestiality, especially as regards fornication. Judaism had long ago tried to alleviate their fear and their shame by imagining the story of Adam and Eve where both were banished from the Garden of Eden for eating the forbidden fruit. However, the authors hadn’t followed up with a solution.

The genius of the fathers of the Roman religion was to tell the faithful that their messiah was the son of God who had been sent down to earth to free them from the sin committed by Adam and Eve and to show them the way to heaven. One needed only to be baptized and to follow the ten commandments. Their Christ had thus opened the door of heaven to all the poor wretches of the empire. Later, at the Council of Trent in 1545, when the Church Fathers made confession a sacrament, the success of Christianity was assured. The local priest was then perceived as being in direct contact with God, and being the representative of God on earth, he could heal the penitent’s soul by forgiving his sins in His name. The beneficial psychological effect produced by the sacrament of confession was substantial.

In conclusion, though a creator of the world may exist, and that we’ll never know, God did not create Man, but rather, Man created God in 325 CE. The religion derived from this invented god helped humanity get to where it is today, and for that we should be thankful, but we should wean ourselves from Judaeo-Christian thought if we are to understand and hold on to our animal-ape-human values in order to know a degree of happiness in the great wonderful, living, breathing world that we find ourselves in.